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If I leave my 8 month old for a week, will that mean the end of BF?

(22 Posts)
skidaddle Sat 23-Aug-08 13:34:07

I am frantically trying to finish my PhD but have a DD (2.5) and DS (8 months) to look after as well. DH has a week off and has offered to take the DCs to his parents so I can work 18 hour days and really make some progress on my thesis. DS is ex-BF and still feeds a lot although happily takes a bottle (of BM) when I'm not around.

My question is, if I agree to DH's offer, and express every day while they are away, will DS still want to BF on his return, and will it be totally traumatic for him to be away from me, especially as he is still so dependent on me for feeds atm?

Thank you

TrinityRhino Sat 23-Aug-08 13:37:51

No will not be too traumatic
and yes you can do it

Gor for it if you want to smile

BabiesEverywhere Sat 23-Aug-08 13:44:41

Why can't DH stay at home with the kids and take them out for day trips ? That way you can still nurse direct first thing and in the evenings, hence no worry about your DS feeds ?

I have no idea how your 8 month old will react to no BF for a week, he might be fine, he might be very distressed...all you can do is try it and see.

skidaddle Sat 23-Aug-08 15:08:07

thanks trinity - that is encouraging

BE - well he could stay here and do day trips but I would feel I had to (and would want to) come home to help out with tea and bath etc so would get a lot less done. If he took them away i could just immerse myself in it (although I would probably just end up pining for them!). That is the theory anyway...

I've never left DD for more than a couple of nights, let along my little baby so I think I might end up the most traumatised of all!

Oh dear, really don't know what to do now. My funding runs out at the end of September so I really need to get it finished..

tiktok Sat 23-Aug-08 15:29:25

skidaddle, my personal view is that 8 mths is too young to be away from mummy - nothing to do with bf, really. Of course there are circumstances when it is unavoidable, and you may feel it is unavoidable. But everything we know about the emotional needs and relationships at this age indicates that it's an important time for babies - this is when they are first understanding the importance of their closeness to special people in their lives, for instance. Well-attached babies of 8 mths adore their mothers and want to be with them. They may have other loving and loved people in their lives as well, but one (or two) people are extra-special.

You cannot explain to an 8 mth old that you still exist (your 2.5 yr old will understand, and you can speak on the phone and stay in touch that way with her) and that he is loved - a very important lynchpin of his world (you) is not around. You are not only removing the physical and nutritional comfort of breastfeeding, but your very existence (in his eyes). He doesn't understand this is temporary.

You have no way of knowing how quickly he will get over this - he will get over it, of course, because he will be loved and cared for in your absence, and he will come back and everything will, in time, go back to normal and he will build up trust in his relationship with you once more. But of course he will be affected - and when babies are totally unaffected by the absence of their mums, we worry they are not securely attached.

I sympathise with your dilemma, but 7 days and nights away from you is not good for your baby - there's no getting away from that fact.

TrinityRhino Sat 23-Aug-08 15:30:31

oh yes
actually I wouldn't be able to be away from my 8 month old at all for that long

BUt that is noting to do with bf just because they still feel they are part of you and NEED you there

tiktok Sat 23-Aug-08 15:31:24

I am also interested to know how TrinityRhino can be so sure it 'will not be too traumatic'.

How do you define 'too traumatic', TR, and how are you so sure of your view?

I have tried to back up my view, at least!

TrinityRhino Sat 23-Aug-08 15:35:40


I am not at all but I was feeling that the op needed some reassurance about somehting that she needed to do

my second post is more how I feel

having thought about the age of the baby, I dont htink it is a good idea tbh
but now I feel bad for making the op feel bad

tiktok Sat 23-Aug-08 15:41:57

TR - I am sure you meant well. But think about it.

If you ask a question, do you want an answer based on honesty, information and openness?

Or do you want people simply to reassure you - hiding their real feelings and any information that they may have so you 'don't feel bad'?

People can share information, they can be honest, and still not judge or criticise - and the choice of whether to go along with that information and honesty still remains with the questioner.

It's the OP's choice whether she regards her absence as unavoidable or not. But deliberately pretending that her absence will have no effect, or that it won't be 'too traumatic' doesn't help....IMO

I think people should be treated like grown ups, and I bet you do, too.

Anna8888 Sat 23-Aug-08 15:45:25

I left my sixteen month old daughter with my mother (whom she knew unusually well) for eleven days and nights and resumed breastfeeding with great ease (and mothering with no trauma).

tiktok Sat 23-Aug-08 15:46:48

Anna - that's great. There is a difference in development, understanding and resiliance between a 16 mth old and an 8 mth old.

Notquitegrownup Sat 23-Aug-08 15:51:07

Perhaps you could split the difference - dh takes the children away for a weekend, then back for a few days, then, if all went well first time, another weekend? That way you get two chances to blitz work and then chance to see your dcs in the middle too?

StormInanEcup Sat 23-Aug-08 15:51:41

Message withdrawn

tiktok Sat 23-Aug-08 15:57:07

Just re-read the OP's posts - skidaddle, you say you think you would end up 'pining for them' ie your children.

You would 'pine' - but you know you would see them again after a week.

Babies don't have that comfort, 'cos they don't understand about time.

Good point, Storm, about the time it takes to express to maintain comfort and milk supply.

TrinityRhino Sat 23-Aug-08 16:01:59

I am sorry to the op
tiktok is right
I shouldn't have just reassured you

I dont thik it is neccessary and I dont like the idea of your 8 month old thinking you have dissapeared..

skidaddle Sat 23-Aug-08 16:32:27

Thank you tiktok, trinity and everyone else - I think you have all said what I have been feeling deep down and I really do worry about how my DS would cope as he has a massive preference for me over his dad, which I think must be to do with BF.

Of course it is not necessary for me to be away from him and his welfare obviously obviously precedes that of my PhD.

So I'll tell him not to go and if I still have this godamn PhD hanging over me in six months time then so be it. FWIW I had this same dilemma with my DD when DH wanted to put her into nursery and I felt she was too young - in the end I stood my ground and I'm so pleased I did (although that has also contributed to my unfinished thesis!)

Thanks all again, I feel a bit teary now - better get myself home to see him...

poshtottie Sat 23-Aug-08 17:33:53


I did this though it was for four days. It was awful. I nearly quit the course I was on and drove home. I could not believe how bad I felt. I was also bf and though I expressed it was so uncomfortable and on the last day I felt that I no longer had that full feeling.

I can't say it had much effect on ds though I am sure there is research to suggest otherwise. DH and I share the childcare so he did have daddy full-time.

poshtottie Sat 23-Aug-08 17:35:49

skiddaddle, I have my coursework still to finish. DS is now 2 blush

Notquitegrownup Sat 23-Aug-08 18:02:11


I just wanted to add - huge congratulations on doing your PhD whilst conceiving, delivering and raising two children!!! That is an amazing feat. I do hope that you do manage to complete it, later if not sooner. If your dh has offered to take the children out each day for this week, then do use the time organised into shorter bursts - ie 4 hours each morning, 4 hours each afternoon, 2 hours each evening. It's not 18 hours/day, but it is 90 hours over the week (with 2 weekends) which is pretty good going and still leaves you lots of time for breastfeeding, playing and snuggling too.

I think anyone who takes on a PhD with a young family is pretty remarkable. Well done you.

tiktok Sat 23-Aug-08 18:15:43

skidaddle, I wish you all the best with your work. I think mumsnet is very useful in these situations - it helps you decide what is really best for your situation by allowing you to think aloud and get responses back from people with no direct interests in your decision.

chipmonkey Sun 24-Aug-08 01:27:09

Skidaddle, I do know that one Mumsnetter left her 6 month old ds for a week while she went on a ski-ing trip, expressed while she was away and her ds went straight back to the breast on her return. I don't think she had any regrets.
I will be leaving my 5 month old for 2 days in October. He will be with my Mum and his brothers so I am hoping all will be well.
I'm not trying to argue with tiktok btw ( God forbid!grin) but just wanted to say that it has been done!

skidaddle Mon 25-Aug-08 09:24:13

poshtottie - I think that is exactly how I would feel too if I left DS - in fact I remember DH and I went away for a weekend when my DD was 10 months and I cried the whole weekend and just wanted to go home blush
am really hoping I won't still be writing this blardy thing when DS is TWO <slits wrists at the prospect>

notquitegrownup - thank you very much - I don't feel very remarkable, quite the opposite - but that is really nice to hear, thank you smile and that is a great idea to split the day up - am doing that today so maybe I will get off MN soon and do some actual writing...

chipmonk - I'm sure your DS will be fine for just two days, especially as he will be too young for separation anxiety then anyway - good luck

Thanks all again!

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